Sasser Once Again Named Finalist for Division III Athlete of the Year
AMHERST, MA – Amherst College senior Brittany Sasser (Belmont, MA) is being recognized on the national level for her incredible 2007-08 campaign with the swimming and diving team. The Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program has once again named Sasser one of 11 nominees for the Division III Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year honor, which is to be presented June 23 at Columbia University in New York City.
The award was first handed out in 1988 and has been given to a swimmer three times since its introduction, but not since 1994. Only once has a NESCAC athlete received the honor, when in 2002 Julia Bergofsky of Middlebury College became the first female to win the award for field hockey. The voting ballot lists 11 candidates, with one female representing each of 11 sports.
Sasser’s accomplishments during her senior season certainly warrant her candidacy, as she helped lead the Amherst women’s swim team to an 8-0 dual meet record for the second consecutive year, which included a win over NESCAC powerhouse Williams College, as well as stellar performances at the NESCAC and NCAA championships.
After earning Swimmer of the Meet honors at the 2007 NESCAC Championships, Sasser was named the Four Year High-Point Swimmer at this year’s championship meet after she led the Lord Jeffs to a third-place finish. She picked up seven All-NESCAC honors over the weekend, which included a first-place finish in the 200-yard Individual Medley (new NESCAC meet record and pool record) and three first-place finishes in team relay events. Sasser also won the 100- and 200-yard Backstroke events with new pool-record times.
As if dominating her conference was not enough, Sasser followed up by earning Swimmer of the Meet honors at the National Championships for the second straight year, leading Amherst to a second-place overall finish once again. Over the course of the weekend, the Lord Jeffs were national champions in six of the 13 events they competed in. Sasser won the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes with national record times (breaking the records she set at the 2007 championships) and contributed to national records in the 400- and 800-yard Freestyle Relay (breaking the records Amherst set last year). She was also part of Amherst’s 400-yard Medley Relay team that finished with a time of 3:46.87 to take home another title.
When Sasser was not winning events at Nationals, she was finishing close behind the leader, coming in second in the 200-yard Individual Medley and third in the 200-yard Freestyle Relay. At the end of the weekend, Amherst had avenged its third-place finish at the conference championships by finishing nearly 100 points ahead of fifth-place Williams.
Sasser's dominating performances at the national championships capped off her undefeated career in the backstroke events. In her four years at Amherst, she never let anyone touch the wall before her in any backstroke event at any dual meet or championship, thus exemplifying the word "dominance".
2007-08 Division III Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Candidates*
Taryne Lee (Wheaton College, Illinois – Soccer)
Lindsey McNamara (Bowdoin College – Field Hockey)
Amber Thomas (Juniata College – Volleyball)
Sarah Zerzan (Willamette University – Cross Country)
Brittany Sasser (Amherst College – Swimming)
*Candidates will be added as the 2007-08 academic year goes on